The new year (and Virtual Console) has me in a real retro mood lately. So I decided to revisit an old classic - Super Mario Bros 2. This is a game I loved upon release and continue to love to this day. Of course it wouldn't be until years later, with the release of Super Mario All-Stars that I'd learn this wasn't a Mario game to begin with. But back in '88, I just figured it was like Zelda II - a totally different and weird remake of a classic game.
It's weird that you jump on enemies but that doesn't kill them. It's weird that you can play as Toad (though you SHOULD play as Princess Peach). It's weird that Shy Guys replaced Goombas and Koopa Troopers. It's weird that bosses are birds that spit eggs, a mouse that throws bombs, a crab that throws rocks, and a hydra. It's weird that Wart replaced Bowser. But guess what? All this weird is awesome. I don't even care about the dreamland cop-out ending. This game rules.
Apparently Nintendo agreed with me since all this weird Doki Doki Panic stuff eventually became cannon. Shy Guy is still hanging out in Mario Kart to this day, and many other elements of Subcon have carried over and become part of the Mario universe.
Speaking of Subcon, this world is so much prettier and brighter than that of the Mushroom Kingdom of the first game. And the music straight ROCKS, you guys. So hummable. Super Mario Bros 2 remains a lovely game to look at to this day.
I've said before - and stand by this - Mario 2 is my favorite of the NES trilogy. It's the one I continue to replay the most. Though I'm playing the NES original today, I've played the SNES and GBA remakes in the past. It's the NES Mario game I've played the most. So you'd think I'd breeze through it as quickly as I recently did Super Mario World. Well, I did... I beat it over two nights. But that was after a proper game over screen and starting all over again. So it's definitely still a challenging game even when you're super familiar with it.
On my second attempt I got brash and used warps in 3-1 and 5-3 to jump straight to 7-1. But that was after playing all the way to 7-1 before my previous game over, so whatever. I appreciate the save states that the WiiU Virtual Console allows, though I tried to use them sparingly as saves between each level.
Anyway, bottom line is I love this game and it still rules. Hard.